Californios, elite families that received large land sponsor from Spain and Mexico, flourished during the 1830s to 1880s. The hand-drawn diseño maps underscore their vital connection to land ownership.Read full overview|Go to first item
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Indian rancheria that Jose Antonio Venado, at mountain Luis Rey Mission, near the Zanja. Caicha-tribe, Quechumas. April 1865. Supplementary drawings of Spanish and Indian life, 1873 (Sketched 1868). Ambrosia, Vaquero; Temecola & Eusebio
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Map of the county of Los Angeles and parts of san Bernardino and also San Diego Co's. : California / H.J. Stevenson, U.S. Dept. Surveyor
Ex mission lands : belonging to R.S. Den, include 4 leagues or 17,718 acres / surveyed march 1853 through G. Black, C.E. A V. Wackenreuder, Co. Surveyor
An authentic map of the State of California : showing the specific extent of region granted by conference to the various railroads in ~ the state ... / department of the Interior, basic Land Office
Doña Ramona Carrillo de Pacheco de Wilson, who married 2d Captain john D. Wilson, a native of Scotland

About the Images

Californios, elite families that received big land grants from Spain and Mexico, flourished during the 1830s to 1880s. The hand-drawn diseño maps underscore their an important connection come land ownership. The more formal surveyed maps that adhered to US salvation of California show changing values regarding land ownership. Together Californios shed land and power in the so late 19th century, castle tried to adapt to these alters by utilizing social networks to preserve their identities together elites. The officially portraits were one means to bolster this image. Photographs of the Ramona Pageant indigenous the 1950s testify come the mythologizing of California"s Mexican and also Spanish pastoral heritage much less than 100 years later.

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Overview

The rich Spanish Californian families referred to as Californios were the first group to obtain large-scale benefit from California’s rich farming resources. Many were given land sponsor from Spain. After ~ 1821, other families received land location from the freshly independent Mexico come encourage negotiation in what was known as Alta California.

Californio wide range was carefully tied to their land holdings and provided credit at local markets. Californios grew orchards and crops, yet large-scale cattle ranching on huge ranchos was an essential to their wealth. As the paints show, also small-scale indigenous American and Mexican rancherias contributed to the monitoring of cattle.

Nearly all elements of Californio culture were connected to its connection to the land. This is reflect in diseños, hand-drawn maps, which mark the natural geography of the land. Diseño del Cayuma includes sketches the trees and also waterways and also provides a an essential in the lower left corner explaining details the the land.

With the gold Rush, and the finish of the US-Mexican war in 1848, a enormous influx of inhabitants laid case to Californio land. Californios were required to prove your land location in court, incurring huge legal fees.

Under the united state legal system, main surveyor maps changed imprecise diseños as legitimate mite of soil ownership. The official 1884-85 surveyor map the Los Angeles, san Diego, and San Bernardino counties charts the grids of floor with right lines and also careful measurement. Court instances often took over a decade to settle. Many Californio households were forced to sell off their land item by item in order to salary mounting legit fees.

As transcontinental rail transportation relocated westward, railroads pressed the US federal government for big land grants. Californios’ holdings thrived smaller, as the official map of floor granted to the railroads by 1875 makes clear.

Californios depended on labor supplied by native Americans and also Mexicans. In exchange, they would carry out shelter and also lodging, additional intertwining laborers come the land and patriarchal relationships. The photograph of Indian “John” and also his family members at the Santa Rosa Rancheria highlights the to know of this indigenous American family members to the rancho. In contrast, Californios such as Julia, wife of Joaquin Bolado, and Juan Ignacia Cantua room photographed in studio portraits together individuals.

Towards the finish of the 19th century, immigrant from about the world were flooding right into California. Plenty of Californios married American and European settlers to secure your land and class status. The stately portrait the Dona Ramona Carillo de Pacheco de Wilson is a good example. Her title, Dona, and her elegant attire represent her upstream Californio heritage. Her marriage to a Scottish settler and US military official would proceed to certain her status in the early on years the American control.

As the 19th century involved a close, Californios discovered their politics clout vastly reduced and their past currently becoming mythologized. Helen hunting Jackson’s 1884 novel Ramona told the catastrophic story of a Californio orphan girl who married an Indian. Created to develop sympathy because that the plight of native Californians, that was instead received together the portrait of an idyllic past. This romanticized vision persisted well right into the 20th century.

The 1950s-era image of light-skinned actors in the well-known Ramona Pageant illustrate modern-day racial biases rather than the social reality of early on Californio society. Throughout this period, the Bracero regimen was in complete force. Increased border regulations and immigration concerns started to different California’s future native its mexican past. Commercialized tourism neighboring the Ramona myth, presented here in the photographs that the curio room at Ramona"s marriage place (which never ever existed), reinforced the curiosity of modern-day Californians around its Spanish pastoral past. Today, descendants of Californio family members still live in the state, and also their names—Sepuvelda, Yorba, Pico, Vallejo, Peralta—mark the streets and towns of contemporary California. Californio society, however, is gone forever.


Land grant: a gift of actual estate do by a government or various other authority come an individual. It might be as a reward because that services, or together incentives to build undeveloped land in a relatively unpopulated country.

Diseño: an informal, hand-drawn map do by Californios to note out their properties. Diseño method "drawing" or "sketch" in Spanish.

Surveyor map: an main land map developed for legit purposes and drawn by trained professionals.

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Tintype: a hopeful photograph made on a sensitized sheet of enameled stole or tin.